Born a little green, with quite an expansive blue period, Rocky Shades, formerly known as Mr Barclay, Wrathchild (UK) frontman, Blues Brothers performer and now at the helm of Wildside Riot, is back, glimmering in a full spectrum of color after the recent confirmation of his love for Swartzkopf crystal.
An essential part of the 80`s UK hair metal/glam/cock rock scene, Shades was born to be on stage and since a less glam stint as part of a “very lucrative, Blues Brothers tribute, that toured the world between 2006 and 2011 as a necessity, in a real world to work and support a real family” Shades has returned to real rock and is now back where he started, once again fronting a rock/glam/sleaze band.
Shades wrote the “intro blurb” on the new Wildside Riot record and is firmly back in the place of his birth right. Not with the band that Shades himself would describe as “the most dangerous band on the planet,” so called because of the use of huge outdoor pyro inside small hot sweaty rock venues, his former band Wrathchild, but at the helm with Wildside Riot, flanked by somewhat younger musicians in the form of Joss Riot and Gaz Wilde. Still performing old Wrathchild favorites like “Trash Queen”, Wildside Riot are also bringing fresh new material with a slightly older, fist pumping, foot stomping, glam edge. Still topless, but now letting off less dangerous pyro, Shades is still capable of commanding his crowd at live shows and making them respond exactly how he wants them to. True showmanship.
Shades himself is the first to admit that showmanship is exactly what it is. “this kind of thing never worked if you believed the hype. Look at some of the iconic characters of the generation. It is theater. Wrathchild was working well way back then and we never believed that we were who the fans supposed we were, when we were on the stage. Unfortunately all the legal nonsense dragged us down. That won’t happen again, I have great lawyers!”
Shades very nearly gave up the glam to be the voice of Discharge. His saving grace? Spitting! “I couldn’t tolerate the punk fans bad gobbing habit.” He admits. Instead he chose to bleach and backcomb his hair and plaster on the war paint. Result? Well, women all over the UK loved it and it must be right for Shades. He came back and in the words of Britney…”Oops, he did it again”
Choosing a black and yellow colored theme for the new record, could perhaps cause a little confusion with 80’s Christian band Stryper….. or giant killer bees, but Shades wanted “a fresh coat of paint, something a little different to represent the new band,” so the wait begins to assess amounts of confusion among addled aging rockers, or forthcoming lawsuits by followers of a higher force.
He has already encountered more than his fair share of Lawyers for one lifetime, but so far Shades has managed to avoid “The hate possies; Angry Dads and Boyfriends.” But it would be nice to see a book from this self-described “godfather of glam,” so Mum may dissipate in the future. Shades, for now though is staying Mum about days gone by, but you must admit, it would be an extremely interesting read.
It is quite obvious to rock fans everywhere that a man who blows a hole in his arse with his own pyro on stage and then melts his leather pants into his skin, for sure will have so much more to tell.
In this life there are, after all No Second Takes!
By Karen Graham (Headbangerwoman)